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Tilting at Windmills

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November 6, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

ROBO-CALLING....So here's a good question: is the mainstream media even going to bother reporting on the saturation robo-calling currently being funded and coordinated by the National Republican Congressional Committee? As you may recall, the tactic here is to call people multiple times, at odd hours, whether or not they're on the Do Not Call registry, with messages that sound like they're from the local Democrat. The purpose is to get people annoyed with the Democratic candidate, even though the annoyance is really coming from the Republican side.

This kind of tactic is only going to get more common unless the media trumpets it loud and clear and the Republican Party pays a price for it on Tuesday. Conversely, if it flies under the radar and helps produce a few GOP wins, they'll do it again. And again. And again.

I don't care if reporters are jaded by this kind of thing. It's a revolting practice and ought to be the lead story on tonight's network news programs. Instead, what do you want to bet that it barely gets mentioned?

Kevin Drum 2:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (147)

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Comments
As you may recall, the tactic here is to call people multiple times, at odd hours, whether or not they're on the Do Not Call registry, with messages that sound like they're from the local Democrat.

The Do Not Call registry does not apply to calls that are not "telemarketing", including calls that are political advocacy. While the dishonesty issue, and the violation of laws regarding recorded calls issue, are probably good to push, not following laws about who and when telemarketers can call that don't apply to political calls because they aren't telemarketers is probably not so good of an angle to push.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

So here's a good question: is the mainstream media even going to bother reporting on the saturation robo-calling currently being funded and coordinated by the National Republican Congressional Committee?

Hey Kevin, I see you express your typical ignorance about elections. Robo-calling happens all the time. Why are you complaining when conservatives do robo-calling but not when liberals do it? Even Dan Balz, reporter for the liberal Washington Post, admits your liberal complaints against robo-calling by conservatives are without merit.

Link

"There are a number of complaints from Democrats about this and we're looking into it. That said, robo calls are very common -- one reason is they're extremely inexpensive -- and often are as negative as they are positive."

Posted by: Al on November 6, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

This could be illegal in some states. Apparently if you hang up before the call is over, they call you back immediately 8 to 10 times in a row. I would think this could be considered harrassment.

Posted by: DJShay on November 6, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Holy F@#K, that is terrible.
Adonde es Bill Schnieder or Jeanie Moos to do something on this. Yuck. F@ckin A I still find it hard to believe they actually do this sort of
sh$t.

Posted by: Anybody's Guess on November 6, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK
This could be illegal in some states.

Some of the practices that have come to light break federal law, as was discussed at some length in the previous thread on the issue.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'll go with nary a mention. On the national networks/cables.

It should be the freaking lead story in the affected districtsprint, tv and radio. If not, then the fix is in.

Posted by: Mr Furious on November 6, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

No

this has been another installment of...

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Al and Chuck perfectly demonstrate why a clear line needs to be drawn between robo-calling and deceptive and harassing robo-calling. If Bill Clinton calls me once, fine. I'll probably hang up but it's nice that he cares. It's hardly a problem. Now if a Republican calls me and spends the first 20 seconds sounding like he's a Democrat and then calls me back 8 times, that is deceptive and harassing robo-calling and those doing it should be punished.

Perhaps Chuck and Al are too dumb to know the difference but likely they are employing GOP talking points that will work to blur the lines so as to give the media just enough to go with their time-honored traditional "balanced" analysis that robo-calling may be annoying but since both sides do it, there is nothing to report. Let's hope not.

Posted by: SimulatedOutrage on November 6, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

What?!?! Report something that reflects badly on Republicans? Are you nuts?!?! Even now, the media is bending over backwards to concoct stories that boost Republican chance, that proclaim races as "tight" even when most polls show the Democrat with a double-digit lead, that dig deep with lots and lots of research time to find instances 30 or more years ago when some Democrat somewhere once said, "Maybe we should fund this by increase taxes."

And you think the media will report on the Republican Party as an institution breaking the law? Hahahahahahahaha!

Posted by: Derelict on November 6, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

It's a revolting practice and ought to be the lead story on tonight's network news programs.

As soon as a leading Dem does it, or the DSCC starts doing it, It'll be a lead story worth at least 60% of the evenings coverage.

Posted by: Edo on November 6, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I want to see a full transcript of one of these calls.

Posted by: colin on November 6, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Does the New York Times not count as the mainstream media anymore?

Posted by: stand on November 6, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oddly MSNBC has featured a few brief segments on voter fraud and for the past few days has been ending decision 2006 segments with the nation voter info and fraud phone line. I know Hardball mentioned it a few times last week. Nothing as yet today from what I've seen but it's on in the background so I can't say for sure.

Posted by: Fred F. on November 6, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

easy solution to all the campaign madness. bar all private money from the election process and replace it with public dollars. we did this in canada for our federal elections and it has worked very well. after each election, we count the votes each party got, total. the parties are then given a set amount of dollars based on popular vote, then use that money in the next election campaign. our four major parties spent under 100 million TOTAL last election.
it has problems. but works better than what most countries are doing.

Posted by: red canuck on November 6, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

So here's a good question: is the mainstream media even going to bother reporting on the saturation robo-calling currently being funded and coordinated by the National Republican Congressional Committee?

IF by "mainstream media" you mean outlets like the NY Times, well, there's a link to the story on the online front page right now, so I'd expect it to get at least a mention in tomorrow's print edition.

OTOH, if you mean the cable news networks and broadcast networks, uh, maybe not. It has too much resemblance to actual news.

Then again, Democrats actually working to get the media to notice it would increase the odds of it getting noticed. You can't (even if you should) expect the media to actually work to find news, you've got to rub their noses in it. The Republicans have learned that and used it to their advantage for quite some time.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

There is a not so easy way to put an end to harassing robo-calling. First, there needs to be both state and federal legislation banning deceptive and harassing robocalling, with what counts as deceptive and harassing specified to a degree. Then the penalty needs to be not a fine but jail time, both for those paying for the calls and for the candidate who stands to benefit. If the punishment were jailtime, you'd bet no candidate would ever allow them. These practices interfere in the worst way with the foundation of democracy -- an informed electorate. That 's why they merit jailtime.

Posted by: LisainVan on November 6, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

If Chuck Schumer said (and I don't know the source) that we definately would not take the Senate, that would come under the heading "lowered expectations."

It's the inverse of Ann Coulter saying that if the Dems don't pick up the Senate and fewer than 40+ seats then its a Dem loss.

Duh.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on November 6, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

It is gettign some airwaves in Kansas City. Nancy Boyda, who is looking good to unseat Jim Ryun has been one of those affected. I just caught a bit on the radio that she has pulled ahead, and it is because of anger over this issue and over the war (Leavenworth and Fort Riley are both in the KS-02) are coupled with a blue tide that will sweep two prominent Dems into office in statewide races. This gives Nancy the momentum. Especially after Bush came to town yesterday and squashed Ryuns.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 6, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

al
how many times can you use the word liberal in a paragraph?
You dont need to answer the question.
Follow up, how many hours of rush do you listen to daily?
Loser.

Posted by: I m afraid of saddam on November 6, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

SEE Reblicans cannot win an honest election.I doubt they have ever won an honest election.So cheat away it pays everytime.And since all the polls are saying the R's are going to win you righties can stay home and bake cookies with the kids because there is no chance the dems will win.

Posted by: Thomas2.0 on November 6, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Personnaly I hang up on Telemarketers, Pollsters, and Robo-Crap. What concerns me is that here we have people, claiming to be moral and value oriented groups, that do nothing but lie and smear so they can 'Win' Politics has become a football game with nothing but corrupt players and coaches who would rather rig the game and cheat than play honestly.

We all lose. The only 'winners' are the corrupt assholes the people blindly rooted for.

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Ann Coulter will get both her votes in again this year.Where the hell does she live if she doesn't know where she lives.

Posted by: Thomas2.0 on November 6, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

If there is an article about it in the MSM, it will probably end with: "While all robocall dirty tricks have come from Republicans so far, there is little doubt that the Democrats will employ the same tactic sometime in the next six hours."

Posted by: Matthew on November 6, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

easy solution to all the campaign madness. bar all private money from the election process and replace it with public dollars. Posted by: red canuck

Hear! Hear!

The other things needed are to fix a national primary date in September, and limit the pre-primary campaign period to six months.

Posted by: JeffII on November 6, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

They will report it only if they can find an instance of a Democrat doing it as well.... then the story will be "Political Parties Engage in Dirty Robo-Calling Tricks". If no dem found, barely a blip.

Posted by: Palooza on November 6, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

You can listen to an example of the call via Talking Points Memo here:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/010848.php

If you listen to it, you'll discover it is ridiculous to claim that these are "messages that sound like they're from the local Democrat." Yes the first sentence is "Hello I'm calling with information about John Hall." But the very next sentence begins "Liberal John Hall says he'll roll back the recent federal tax cuts..." and goes on to attack him for that position. At the end, it is clearly stated that the NRCC is responsible for the ad.

So yes, if you managed every time to listen long enough to hear the end of the first sentence and then immediately hug up the phone in the 1/3 second between that sentence and the next one, you might think it was from John Hall but everyone else would realize it was from his opponent.

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

The other things needed are to fix a national primary date in September, and limit the pre-primary campaign period to six months.
Posted by: JeffII

They should outlaw having political hacks, such as Rove, on the taxpayers dime.
And most of all they should outlaw lobbyists!

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

And goes on to attack him for that position. At the end, it is clearly stated that the NRCC is responsible for the ad.

And the reason for putting the identifier at the end and not the front would be?

Do you call people on the phone and introduce yourself after you have talked for five minutes and then right before you hang up indentify yourself?

Of course not, it's Rude!!

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why not outlaw the First Amendment while you are at it?
Posted by: Chuck

Bush doesn't care about that Gottdamn piece of paper, why should you?

Or are you not a Bush supporter?

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck: how is the First Amendment threatened if you ban private money from election campaigns? if each candidate was provided with public funds based on the percentage of the popular vote their party got, how are anybodys rights being violated?

Posted by: red canuck on November 6, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Why not outlaw the First Amendment while you are at it?
Posted by: Chuck on November 6, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I'll take that statement seriously as soon as you start defending the Establishment Clause.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Some of the practices that have come to light break federal law, as was discussed at some length in the previous thread on the issue.

One practice identified as illegal on the previous thread was identifying the caller at the end of the call, rather than the beginning.

Let's use logic. Kevin says the calls are purposely obnoxious. cmdicely says the end of the calls specify that they come from the Republicans.

If purposely obnoxious calls identify theselves as coming from the Republican party, they can only harm the Republicans.

This issue is a crock.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 6, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

But isn't better for the ratings to go on and on over something John Kerry said - even if it is a total misrepresentation of what he really meant? Kevin wants real news but if we had real news folks running the show - please explain how Katie Couric has the job that used to belong to Walter Cronkite?

Posted by: pgl on November 6, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Robocalled? A Kossack has lawyers and reporters from NATIONAL MEDIA lined up to talk to you!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/6/142133/889

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on November 6, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Subversion of democracy is on the march!

Posted by: Cognitive Dissonance on November 6, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

chuck: thomas paine? we live in the real world. we arent pointy headed, latte drinking university types like yourself. political theories from two hundred years ago arent helping. we need real middle class solutions to real middle class problems. we dont have all day to read history books like you. we work for a living.

Posted by: red canuck on November 6, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Chuck Schumer, did everyone hear that an envelope with white powder was sent to his NYC office on Friday, just a week after a white powder envelope was sent to Bill Clinton's office?

Yet another sinister GOP tactic to waste Dem time and resources immediately before the election.

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK
One practice identified as illegal on the previous thread was identifying the caller at the end of the call, rather than the beginning.

A practice which, BTW, is illegal for the simple reason that people don't tend to listen through the entirety of an obnoxious message on the off chance of an identification.

Thus invalidating the rest of your argument: it only hurts Republicans if people get pissed off, but not pissed off enough to hang up, which is rare.

(Well, it also hurts Republicans if they actually get held accountable for breaking the law.)

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

That's a bullshit answer that dishonestly perverts the issue.

The Amendment does not say "establish a national church". It says "respecting an establishment of religion or free exercise thereof." Once again - a Republican lies to avoid the question.

How about the 4th Amendment?
5th?
6th?
7th?
8th?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Bump Phoenix Woman's comment to an update or new entry please.

Robocalled? A Kossack has lawyers and reporters from NATIONAL MEDIA lined up to talk to you!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/6/142133/889

Posted by: crack on November 6, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but Thomas Paine's pamphlets explain it all much better than I can.
Posted by: Chuck on November 6, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jack Chick's even better!

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but Thomas Paine's pamphlets explain it all much better than I can.
Posted by: Chuck

yes ... literacy helps.

Posted by: Nads on November 6, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK
There is a not so easy way to put an end to harassing robo-calling. First, there needs to be both state and federal legislation banning deceptive and harassing robocalling, with what counts as deceptive and harassing specified to a degree.

Since much of what they are doing is already clearly illegal, I'm more interested in enforcing the existing law than creating new ones.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

More evidence that the wingnut noise machine is breaking down:

There are two threads about the GOP robo-calls. In this one Troll Thomas has been tasked to derail the discussion. In the other one Troll Norm has been assigned. If their Troll Masters were thinking clearly, one would be tasked to cover both threads and the other would be assigned to a thread on another topic.

Posted by: Disputo on November 6, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of something Mario Cuomo did running against Herman Badillo in NYC - he hired a flat bed truck with straw and hay bales, put a bunch of guys with congo drums and sombreros on it riding through the Italian neighborhoods singing Vote for Badiyyyoooo the night before election day.

Posted by: minion of rove on November 6, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I understand that it is illegal to not identify who the message is from, but in looking through the other thread I did not see an example of a legal requirement to start a message with this notification.

In any event, in the second sentence of the call that TPM linked to, it is quite clear that it is an anti-Hall call. The receiver of a call would not need to listen all the way to the end, but rather only needed about a second longer than it took to learn that the call pertained to John Hall.

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Why not outlaw the First Amendment while you are at it?

Dumbya hasn't done that yet?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 6, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

It will barely be mentioned because the media is too concerned with being portrayed as 'liberal' that they fail to report the news. The result is giving the neocons a pass for all their dirty tricks.

Posted by: PoliticalCritic on November 6, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK
I understand that it is illegal to not identify who the message is from, but in looking through the other thread I did not see an example of a legal requirement to start a message with this notification.

You didn't look very hard. The requirement was mentioned with a citation to the relevant law here:

The latest campaign trick from the fine folks in the Republican Party is to make repeated robo-calls to voters that sound as if they're from Democratic candidates.

Automated calls that do not (among other requirements), at the outset, identify the actual person or entity responsible for the calls are illegal, and both a private cause of action and one which may be undertaken by states' attorneys-general exist under federal law to recover $500 per offense, potentially tripled for "willful and knowing" violations. See 47 USC 227 and 47 CFR 64.1200(b).

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

The regulation itself was quoted with the relevant bits highlighted here:

Does the FCC regulation specifically require identification at beginning of a robocall?

It specifically requires identification at the beginning and a callback number (for the organization, not to get the pre-recorded message again) during or after the message. 47 CFR 64.1200(b) [emphasis added]:

All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:

(1) At the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call. If a business is responsible for initiating the call, the name under which the entity is registered to conduct business with the State Corporation Commission (or comparable regulatory authority) must be stated, and

(2) During or after the message, state clearly the telephone number (other than that of the autodialer or prerecorded message player that placed the call) of such business, other entity, or individual. The telephone number provided may not be a 900 number or any other number for which charges exceed local or long distance transmission charges. For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers, such telephone number must permit any individual to make a do-not-call request during regular business hours for the duration of the telemarketing campaign.


Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK


The recorded call here violates both requirements (the ID is at the end, not the beginning, and no callback number is provided). From the description, it sounds like the robopolls (discussed in the NY Times article and elsewhere) violate at least the first requirement, as well.


Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

If it is mentioned, it will be balanced by mentioning something bad the Dems did--at some time and in some universe.

It's too dangerous to report facts unfavorable to the Rethugs unless it can be "balanced" with some dirt about Rethugs.

Posted by: jawbone on November 6, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Dkos has a couple good diaries up on dealing with robocalls. The first gives pointers on how to setup to be able to press charges/join a BIG lawsuit against the perps. The second is a point of contact that will get you through to a host of national reporters eager to hear from victims of such fraud and abuse.

These calls ARE illegal - they do not hang up even though YOU do, thus blocking 911 calls. They return calls repeatedly, specifically to harrass, if you hang up on them. They are illegal and there will be charges brought.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 6, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, two LATimes reporters were on WNYC, NYC's public radio station, this morning, and a caller brought up the annoyance POTV (Piss Off The Voters) robo calls. One of the reporters actually sounded knowledgeable about the practice, but closed with a comment that Dems do dirty tricks too. So, the MCMers don't even need to have something bad which Dems did--they just say it's so! Must balance any criticism of Rethugs!

You can listen at the link below. The host intros a caller's question about robo calls at 31:17--We can't make these things up.

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2006/11/06

Posted by: jawbone on November 6, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

The two robo POTV calls I listened to do say they're funded by the RNCC and do give the www.RNCC.org email address.

Posted by: jawbone on November 6, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

What's all the fuss? These calls merely serve to accurately simulate how the constituents would later be awakened by their guilty consciences after having elected BABY-killing, OSAMA-loving, COMMIE liberals.

Posted by: training-bra-troll on November 6, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Apart from cmdicely's theory, what specific law(s) do you think was violated? If you can't even cit one, I'm not that scared about your "there will be charges brought" claim.

Here you go fucknut. FCC regulations: automated callers must hang up when the called party hangs up. To crib from a thorough post by Juppon Gatana at DKos:

These calls are in violation of numerous FCC regulations. For those lawyers and law students out there, the relevant regulatory statute is 47 C.F.R. 64.1200. Here are the key portions:
(b) All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages shall:
(1) At the beginning of the message, state clearly the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call. If a business is responsible for initiating the call, the name under which the entity is registered to conduct business with the State Corporation Commission (or comparable regulatory authority) must be stated, and
(2) During or after the message, state clearly the telephone number (other than that of the autodialer or prerecorded message player that placed the call) of such business, other entity, or individual. The telephone number provided may not be a 900 number or any other number for which charges exceed local or long distance transmission charges. For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers, such telephone number must permit any individual to make a do-not-call request during regular business hours for the duration of the telemarketing campaign.
(c ) No person or entity shall initiate any telephone solicitation, as defined in paragraph (f)(9) of this section, to:
(1) Any residential telephone subscriber before the hour of 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. (local time at the called party's location), or
(2) A residential telephone subscriber who has registered his or her telephone number on the national do-not-call registry of persons who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations that is maintained by the federal government. Such do-not-call registrations must be honored for a period of 5 years. Any person or entity making telephone solicitations (or on whose behalf telephone solicitations are made) will not be liable for violating this requirement if:
(i) It can demonstrate that the violation is the result of error and that as part of its routine business practice, it meets the following standards:
(A) Written procedures. It has established and implemented written procedures to comply with the national do-not-call rules;
(B) Training of personnel. It has trained its personnel, and any entity assisting in its compliance, in procedures established pursuant to the national do-not-call rules;
(C) Recording. It has maintained and recorded a list of telephone numbers that the seller may not contact;
(D) Accessing the national do-not-call database. It uses a process to prevent telephone solicitations to any telephone number on any list established pursuant to the do-not-call rules, employing a version of the national do-not-call registry obtained from the administrator of the registry no more than 31 days prior to the date any call is made, and maintains records documenting this process.

In many states the definition of "obscene, indecent, or harassing phone calls" includes placing repeated calls to a subscriber who does not wish to be called. It can be argued that the repeat calling also violates the intent of the "release the line" regulations because if a called subscriber has the Call Waiting feature, the additional incoming calls will trigger call waiting signals, which interrupt conversation briefly each time the little "beep" sounds on the line, thereby interfering with the life-or-death conversations of emergency calls.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on November 6, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Instead, what do you want to bet that it barely gets mentioned?"

How much do ya got?

Posted by: TheFool on November 6, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Ignore Charlie.

Ignore Charlie.

Ignore Charlie.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on November 6, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

My post against establishing a national church was, at the very least, a "start" wasn't it? Posted by: Chuck on November 6, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

No - because I've heard this exact same argument come out of theocrats before. "School Prayer doesn't establish a national church, therefore it's okay." "Faith-Based organizations don't establish a national church, therefore it's okay." - it's STILL a violation of conscience.

I "started" there because I suspected you and I would disagree on what else qualifies as a "law respecting an establishment of religion"

. . . because this is a well-known theocrat technique - it's even taught and passed around as a method to bamboozle and defuse Establishment Clause arguments. The bible-study group at the last church I quit (ironically, a "New Life" Church) did it.

I was just trying to find some common ground with you, OBF. I'm for Amendments 2 through 10 as well.
Posted by: Chuck on November 6, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Then STOP supporting Bush; and the "Culture War" movement, because they would like to see these amendments all go away:

Amendment 2: Irrelevant when the armed forces - even the police, have machineguns, body armor, and bombs, which private citizens cannot have. This one was lost long ago. If you want to live in a country where people can legally own an automatic rifle, why not emigrate to Iraq?

Amendment 4: Gone daddy gone - (Convicted Criminal) John Poindexter's TIA, or whatever they renamed it to. The (un)Patriot "act". The (anyone we say is a )Terrorist Surveillance Program. Etc.

Amendment 5: bub-bye Habeus Corpus!

Amendment 6 & 7: Speedy trial by jury? Not if the President says it's a War! (Clear and Present Danger to the Consitution).

Amendment 8: It's only Cruel and Unusual Punishment if it's a Republican going to jail, that's what Club Fed is all about (ask Uncle Norman). If your skin isn't white though, or if you aren't Christian, well, you don't have feelings like us annointed white folk do, so it's not "cruel and unusual" to waterboard them.

Amendment 9 & 10: oh please - there never was a wannabe conservative who gave a damn about these two.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Where's Americans United for Separation of Church and States when you need them?

how much public (tax-payer) money was used for it? if none, then what's the issue?

on the other hand, how much taxpayer money is spent sending Bush and Cheney to Rush's place to nibble on his earlobes?

Posted by: cleek on November 6, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the link cmdicely.

The laws you reference make the requirement quite clear and if the NRCC calls fall under this law they are clearly illegal and appropriate fines, etc. should be levied.

If they fall under the laws you cite. Which raised this question. Looking over the laws, they seem to pertain to "identification of sellers and telemarketers" (the latter defined in the law as a person or entity that initiates a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person).

My question is, do we know that these two laws actually cover political advertisements as well? Or to put it another way, do pre-recorder political advertisements fall under the same legal restrications that telemarketing does?

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Mere robo-calling isn't the issue. The pretense is the issue. Harassment isn't protected speech. Fraud isn't protected speech. Harassment and fraud -- it's called Dirty Tricks and it's a sign of desperation and (in its non-professional defenders) the ugly acceptance of Anything Goes.

Congratulations, schmucks.

"Lying: Not Just for Politicians Anymore"

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 6, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck,
You are dishonest.

Posted by: CK Dexter Haven on November 6, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.atrios.blogspot.com/

Get rid of your phones... or at least the ones where repugnacan terminatoresque calls happen.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 6, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, why don't you do something. You have a bigger microphone than the rest of us!

Posted by: ppk on November 6, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting: The Economist knows about the robo POTV calls, but our own MCMers don't????

The Economist compares the POTV calls, which are illegal on several levels (required to ID caller up front, not at end; must not tie up voter's phone line by either staying on after hang up or continued recalls; must not make repeated, harrassing voters) with Google bombing!!!! Cute!

DEMOCRATS and Republicans are apparently getting creative this year. On the Republican side, there is controversy over a "robocalling" system, a common American electoral tactic in which computers dial voters and play a pre-recorded message to anyone who picks up. In New York State, answering machines are crowded with such messages from Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Robert DiNiro, Gloria Steinem, and other notables urging them to vote for Democrats tomorrow. In a clever twist, the Republicans have allegedly set up one such system with calls that purport to be from Democratic candidates . . . and set it to ring back anyone who hangs up on the message, which is what most people do. The idea is apparently to generate such rage at the Democratic candidate that people will vote against him or her (or at least stay home).

http://www.economist.com/debate/democracyinamerica/2006/11/department_of_dirty_tricks.cfm

On the Democratic side, the new idea is apparently to "Google-bomb" Republicans. This involves using targeted links by lots of web sites to alter Google search rankings so as to elevate results unfavourable to Republicans.

Posted by: jawbone on November 6, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

The laws you reference make the requirement quite clear and if the NRCC calls fall under this law they are clearly illegal and appropriate fines, etc. should be levied.

Fat lotta good that does if the fine is already a line-item on their budget.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Looking over the laws, they seem to pertain to "identification of sellers and telemarketers" (the latter defined in the law as a person or entity that initiates a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person).

I'm not sure which portion of "the laws" (or even whether you mean the one law or the one section of regulation I cited) you are referring to, but the identification and callback number provision of the regulation—47 CFR § 64.1200(b)—applies, as it says, to all calls made with an artificial or prerecorded voice.

There are other portions of 47 CFR § 64.1200 that apply to sellers or telemarketers or other more restricted sets of callers; the section is essentially the entire FCC regulation of automatically dialed, recorded, artificial, and fax calling, and various provisions of it apply to different types of calls or different callers.


My question is, do we know that these two laws actually cover political advertisements as well?

There is only one law, and one section of regulation authorized by the law, not "two laws". The law (47 USC § 227) makes all artificial voice or prerecorded calls to a residential telephone line not made with express consent of the called party illegal unless specifically authorized in regulation by the FCC.

47 CFR § 64.1200(b) is part of the regulation by the FCC specifying minimum conditions that any artificial voice or prerecorded calls must meet to be excepted from the blanket prohibition in 47 USC § 227. It also must be in one of the categories in § 64.1200(a)(2); political advocacy calls of the type at issue are most likely permitted under that because they are "made on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit".

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

At least Bush the Evil is not quartering soldiers in your home yet (Amend. III).
Posted by: Chuck on November 6, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'll keep the bed made in the guest room.
(FYI: in 2004, Bush *was* indeed quartering troops in private houses in Iraq. There was no neocon doublespeak that could sugarcoat it, so they ended that fairly quickly - even though it was only Iraqi homes, not homes of American Citizens - you see, because a God-Given Right is only given to American Citizens. Says so in the Bible. somewhere.).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on November 6, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jawbone,

Well we are still trying to learn if the calls are in fact illegal. The Economist article says nothing on that subject.

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK
Fat lotta good that does if the fine is already a line-item on their budget.

Well, if it is, that would automatically justify the tripled "wilfull or knowing" fine, and $1,500 per call is a whole lot of money, given the scope of the apparent robocalling operation.

Heck, the number of calls that were likely made in any one targetted congressional district would probably justify fines exceeding the average annual campaign expenditures in a congressional district.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK
The two robo POTV calls I listened to do say they're funded by the RNCC and do give the www.RNCC.org email address.

www.RNCC.org is not an email address, its a domain name.

Its also not a callback phone number as required by 47 CFR § 64.1200(b).

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I'm no lawyer so apologies if I make some mistakes along the way.

47 CFR 64.1200(b) which you clearly cite and which obviously would make the RNCC calls illegal on the basis of not identifying themselves at the beginning of the message falls under Subpart L of the regulation (47 CFR 64). Subpart L is entitled Restrictions on Telemarketing and Telephone Solicitation. According to 47 CFR 64.1200(f), which lays out the definitions for all of 47 CFR 64.1200:

"The term telemarketing means the initiation of a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person."

(see http://www.stopjunkcalls.com/64120.htm)

So yes, this part of the regulation requires that all artificial or prerecorded telephone messages start of with identifying who is responsible for the call, but this section pertains to telemarketing.

Which means I'm back to the original question, are calls like the NRCC calls considered telemarketing and thus required to comply with this part of the regulation?

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

OBF:

It adds up rather quickly if it's a fine-per-call and not fine-per-complaint.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck, You are dishonest.

Chuck responds: Please provide an example, and I will gladly confess or clarify.

and then Chuck writes:
...if someone on our team violated the law, it should be fully enforced (unlike the Democrats always wanting to protect their own).

Please, then, "clarify" what you mean by claiming that Democrats "always [want] to protect their own." A specific cite, please. Otherwise, gladly confess your dishonesty.

Posted by: Wonderin on November 6, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw:

cmdicely clearly pointed out several times that these are the *minimum conditions* for any "artificial, pre-recorded or robo-dialed" call. It has nothing to do with the distinction between commercial solicitation and protected speech, which is recognized by the Federal Do Not Call List.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

ppk,

Kevin, why don't you do something. You have a bigger microphone than the rest of us!

Uhhh...Mr. Drum writes a political blog. In this blog he mentioned the robocalls. Specifically,

It's a revolting practice and ought to be the lead story on tonight's network news programs.

what more would you have him do?

Posted by: Edo on November 6, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK
47 CFR 64.1200(b) which you clearly cite and which obviously would make the RNCC calls illegal on the basis of not identifying themselves at the beginning of the message falls under Subpart L of the regulation (47 CFR 64).

Correct.

Subpart L is entitled Restrictions on Telemarketing and Telephone Solicitation.

Per the GPO's online version of the CFR, its actually entitled "Subpart LRestrictions on Telemarketing, Telephone Solicitation, and Facsimile Advertising".

But that's not important, the title doesn't control the applicability of the various provisions; the statute providing their authority and the language of the provisions themselves do. Note, also, that the statute provides a blanket ban on artificial voice or prerecorded calls to residential numbers except where exempted by regulation, so if you were to establish that the regulation did not apply, what that would mean that there was no exception to the blanket ban in the statute that applies to political advertising at all, which would still make the calls illegal.

For the calls to be legal, there must be an FCC regulation excepting the calls from the blanket ban in the statute.

According to 47 CFR 64.1200(f), which lays out the definitions for all of 47 CFR 64.1200:

"The term telemarketing means the initiation of a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services, which is transmitted to any person."

Which would be relevant if we were discussing a provision (like 47 CFR § 64.1200(a)(5), or (a)(6), or the last sentence of (b)(2)) that was, first, within § 64.1200 so that the definition was the applicable legal definition, and second, restricted to "telemarketing" calls so that the definition of "telemarketing" mattered.


So yes, this part of the regulation requires that all artificial or prerecorded telephone messages start of with identifying who is responsible for the call, but this section pertains to telemarketing.

Wrong. There is a definition of "telemarketing" in § 64.1200(f) because some provisions of § 64.1200 use the term telemarketing and have provisions that are only applicable to telemarketing. § 64.1200(b) is not one of those provisions, it applies to "All artificial or prerecorded telephone messages". Though there is a part of § 64.1200(b)(2) that applies only to telemarketing calls: "For telemarketing messages to residential telephone subscribers, such telephone number must permit any individual to make a do-not-call request during regular business hours for the duration of the telemarketing campaign."

Which means I'm back to the original question, are calls like the NRCC calls considered telemarketing and thus required to comply with this part of the regulation?

They are not considered telemarketing, and so are not subject to the provisions restricted to telemarketing. You are, however, mistaken as to which parts of the regulation are restricted to "telemarketing" and which are not.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, the question you're missing is this:

What misdeeds are these offensive but very visible calls a smokescreen for?

(a bit too visible and too gleefully acknowledged if you know what I mean)

Posted by: merelycurious on November 6, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we should head over to the Google-cache version of the Conquest Communication site, and call their number.

And leave messages...to everyone on the top level menu of their voice mail system.

Repeat as needed.

Posted by: The Hague on November 6, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Wonderin,

Well the GOP isn't running a candidate who stashed $90,000 in his freezer.

cmdicely,

I had meant to add this to myl last reply. The NRCC is a Section 527 tax-exempt organization. I'm not sure, but wouldn't that mean they don't need to comply with the regulation. You had noted this earlier but I just got around to finding out the NRCC's tax status.

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK
It adds up rather quickly if it's a fine-per-call and not fine-per-complaint.

Yeah. 10,000 robocalls (easily likely in a single district) is worth either $5 million or $15 million, depending on whether it gets tripled.

For the whole national effort by the NRCC, if they got nailed for every district they've done illegal robocalls, I wouldn't be surprised if we were talking several hundred million dollars.


Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK


chuck: Sorry, but Thomas Paine's pamphlets explain it all much better than I can.


"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." -- Thomas Paine

Posted by: mr. irony on November 6, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hey everybody

Here's that number for Conquest Communications

804-358-0560

(The robocall guys)

Give them a call and leave messages, or questions, for their top people! I'm sure they have a robust voice mail system!

Posted by: The Hague on November 6, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Not wanting to read through the above -- but I was wondering.

What does cmdicely's think about state bans on political robocalls? Can they apply to federal races?

Posted by: B on November 6, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Thanks for the explanation. Moreover, looking at the statute (I'd been focused on the regulation), it does indeed pertain to more than telemarketing (or telephone solicitation as the statute seems to call it).

I guess it comes down to the RNCC's tax status.

Posted by: Hacksaw on November 6, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Here's that number for Conquest Communications

804-358-0560

(The robocall guys)

Give them a call and leave messages, or questions, for their top people! I'm sure they have a robust voice mail system!

Posted by: The Hague on November 6, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK
The NRCC is a Section 527 tax-exempt organization. I'm not sure, but wouldn't that mean they don't need to comply with the regulation.

No. To put it as simply as I can:

47 USC § 227 prohibits all precorded and artificial voice calls to residential subscribers, but allows the FCC to create exceptions.

The exception are in 47 CFR § 64.1200

47 CFR § 64.1200(a)(2) sets the kinds of calls that may be excepted from that blanket ban. The calls here probably qualify under both the non-commercial purpose (a)(2)(ii) and tax-exempt non-profit (a)(2)(v) provisions of this.

47 CFR § 64.1200(b) establishes requirements for what kind of artifical voice or prerecorded messages may be excepted for the calls permitted by § 64.1200(a)(2).

In order to be within the exception from the statutory ban, an artificial voice or prerecorded call must meet both the requirements of § 64.1200(a)(2) [which these seem to] and those of § 64.1200(b) [which these clearly do not].

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK
What does cmdicely's think about state bans on political robocalls? Can they apply to federal races?

There is nothing specially restricting them from applying to federal races that I can think of, though if they are overly restrictive and focussed on political content they may run into First Amendment issues no matter what kind of races they apply to.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK


Call Conquest Communications

804-358-0560

(The robocall guys)

Give them a call and leave messages, or questions, for their top people! I'm sure they have a robust voice mail system!

Posted by: The Hague on November 6, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Boy Genius at work. This is what Dems have to be scared of, not some grandiose GOP operation. They only win because of voter suppression. The media can't expose this because it would make them look like idiots for ascribing something to Rove that is nonexistent.

Posted by: gq on November 6, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. Chuck, your getting to be a really desperate troll: Massive, nationwide, illegal and deceptive campaign practices revealed, with overt endorsement by major national Republican organization? Quick! Divert attention! Clinton lied about an affair!

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Poor little chuckles is a hack lawyer still trying to indict Clinton for not committing perjury after all these years.
Didn't happen Chuckles, give it up.

Posted by: Mike on November 6, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck:

Again, it must feel really good to drop that "lifelong Democrat" bullshit so close to the election, huh? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK
... comitting adultery in the Oval Office ....Chuck at 6:10 PM
Cluckles is cool with his boys whoring after leeetle boys and committing illegal harassment calls under false pretenses. Republicans will lie, cheat and steal to gain political power because once they have political power they lie, cheat and steal. Posted by: Mike on November 6, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

The robocalling was just talked about on Situation Room on CNN. It wasn't very hard hitting, but at least they did mention it.

Posted by: Ekim on November 6, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK
I would have much rather not had a President comitting adultery in the Oval Office

I'd rather not have had a President violating the Constitutional rights of Americans, violating the laws passed by Congress regarding the use of military force, lying to the American people to sell an unnecessary war that dangerously distracted from the campaign against enemies that actually attacked the United States from the Oval Office.

But, clearly, our priorities differ.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

So, I just talked to Mark Halperin. Seriously.

Sort-of transcript at

http://cardcarryingmember.blogspot.com/2006/11/mark-halperin-responds-really.html

Posted by: jonah gelbach on November 6, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Chuck, I love it when you talk sexy about Billy Glinton. You know your Rep Foley and Kolbe always told me that they though my rosebud was their favorite, but their love was nothing compared to Rev Jim. Let me tell you the Rev Jim was the best, always talking about sin and evil lusts, why there were knights when Rev Jim just wanted to go on and on. That thing didn't want stop, nosireee. Talk some more of your sexy talk to me, Chuck, Puleezee.

Posted by: Roger, the page boy on November 6, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK
if not the broader "affair".Chuck at 6:18 PM
You can try to more the goalpost but the fact remains, there was no perjury under the definitions offered and customary legal standards. Posted by: Mike on November 6, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

There are only three persons left within the whole USA who are still supporting this regime the intentional lies of which have led to deaths of thousands of innocent human beings, American and otherwise.

Unfortunatley, they are all trolls on this board.

Congratulations Chuck,

Posted by: gregor on November 6, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Now it's a breaking news item on ABCnews.com I think that Kevin's and others' (especially Josh Marshall) comments are having an effect on the MSM.

Posted by: Ekim on November 6, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck:

MmmMMMmMMMmmMmm ...

Tell us more about Bill and Monica. What about that oral-anal contact? Did she stick her tongue in his corn hole? Did Bill ever fuck her titties and cum in her hair?

Please please please ... I have no time to read every last page of that luscious Starr Report.

I wanna hear it from *you*, big guy :)

Posted by: Republican Sexual Obsessive on November 6, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

breasts ... vagina ... anus ...

Stop teasing me, you dirtyminded fiend you :):):)

Posted by: Republican Sexual Obsessive on November 6, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK
There are only three persons left within the whole USA who are still supporting this regime the intentional lies of which have led to deaths of thousands of innocent human beings, American and otherwise.

That may be a slight exaggeration, but yet another Republican candidate is running away from Bush, though Katherine Harris is still sticking with him...

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

I personally know they did this to Corzine in 2000.

I e-mailed both hardball and countdown, but I am not hopeful.

Posted by: maryj on November 6, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Katherine Harris ... what a vivacious goddess of the Sunshine state. She sure does give great interview, doesn't she, all smilin' and perky like the beauty queen she was. Nice tight buns, such luscious bazongas for an older babe ... I'll bet she's all stretched out just right down there, too ... might a little KY, but probably cums like a pack of firecrackers going off ...

Posted by: Republican Sexual Obsessive on November 6, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw: If you listen to it, you'll discover it is ridiculous to claim that these are "messages that sound like they're from the local Democrat." Yes the first sentence is "Hello I'm calling with information about John Hall." But the very next sentence begins "Liberal John Hall says he'll roll back the recent federal tax cuts..." and goes on to attack him for that position. At the end, it is clearly stated that the NRCC is responsible for the ad.

Hey, I know John Hall. I'm a close friend of his brother. I met John at his nephew's wedding. However, I agree with Hacksaw's comment.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 6, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK
I don't think the White House is viewing that as "running away"

So? Even if true, what does the White House view have to do with reality.

in fact, Tony Snow commented on that just this morning:

Yeah, Snow tried to walk back Rove's earlier mocking comment that revealed the White House's bitterness (see the article I originally linked.)

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

You guys are all upset about Haggard, but I really wonder if you were as upset about these lies UNDER OATH from President Clinton:

I have a better one;

"Our Troops will not be used for Nation Building" -GWB

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she performed oral sex on the President on nine occasions. On all nine of those occasions, the President fondled and kissed her bare breasts. He touched her genitals, both through her underwear and directly, bringing her to orgasm on two occasions. On one occasion, the President inserted a cigar into her vagina. On another occasion, she and the President had brief genital-to-genital contact.(42)

Clinton isn't running for office, besides we have heard this ad nauseun, the new amoral degenerates reside in the GOP, come on get with today!

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK
we are all busy today campaigning.

And, Chuck, you seem mostly to be campaigning against Bill Clinton, which is odd, because he is neither in political office nor running for it...

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Dog_named_Boo and red canuck,

Don't ask me; ask Thomas Paine if he thought banning PRIVATE MONEY from elections was a good thing: http://www.gutenberg.org/author/Thomas_Paine

But I am not asking Tom Paine, nor read the link.

Lobbyists don't only give money to these guys for elections. Remember Cunninham, Safavian, and Abramoff?

1) That was not a lie;

2) It was not under oath; and

3) 9/11 changed everything.
Posted by: Chuck

The Iraq war was being planned by the PNAC neo-cons well before 9/11.

A misleading statement is a lie.
[Blacks Law dictionary]

Bush took an Oath when he took office to uphold the office. Not to lie to the Salus Populi.

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Neither is President Bush running for office tomorrow, last time I checked.

But this is Bush's war isn't it? The War President?
Isn't this the GOP war also then?

Posted by: Dog_named_Boo on November 6, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK
Neither is President Bush running for office tomorrow, last time I checked.

So? He's in office, and an office with whom present candidates relations will be relatively important, so he's a real election issue. Plus, I said "neither in political office nor running for it..."

Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Really. Who cares. This country is going down the tubes. Until people other than the news junkies who frequent sites like this take a more than casual interest in what happens to this country, they will be easily manipulated by the half truths put out by both parties. I mean how many people who frequent this site, lefty or righty, could be manipulated by a robo-call. Not one.

Posted by: Lew on November 6, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats send cease-and-desist letter,

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2006/11/stop_illegal_ro.html

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

From the other side of the Republican daydream,

Haggard's boy toy's website, Massage by Mike,


http://hometown.aol.com/mfjmfjmfj/Feelssogood.html


Iconic Republicanism. The photo in the Santa hat must have improved the lives of more than a few.

(But his Hitometer reads only 380 --that can't be right!)

Posted by: cld on November 6, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

The main reason to not want a president to tell lies about sex, is that he might also tell lies about something important.

I am sure that Laura Bush and the two Bush girls are glad that GWB has not been caught in an adulterous relationship, but what matters much more to me is that he lied us into a war in Iraq, screwed it up, and lied about it afterwards. It also kind of sucks how he's fired/retired anyone who made an accurate prediction before the war, and also it's pretty crappy the way his administration lied about the costs of medicare, and it also sucks how New Orleans has been slow-tracked. Doesn't help that he's cut taxes like a crazy man while boosting military spending, with the predicted effect on the national debt. Add to that unwarranted wiretapping and extraordinary rendition to outsource torture, and I think I've got some reasons to oppose Bush, and any other politician who supports him. (And the longer I think about it, the more I come up with -- publishing nuclear bomb designs on the web, that's pretty stupid.)

And no, he is not for election this year, but many Republicans are, and by and large that party has stuck to him like glue. I see no reason to vote for any Republican at any level of government, especially given their outrageous conduct in this election. Cleverly encoded racist advertising is still racist, and ought to be taboo. Now, we find that they cannot even run an honest negative advertisement. Even if these calls, in some bizarre Chuckian interpretation of the laws, happen to be legal, they are still designed to be deceptive. Can't run on your record, can't even "honestly" smear the other guy, must be pretty proud of yourselves. I don't see how any honest thinking person can stand to be a member of such an organization of corrupt and incompetent liars.

Posted by: dr2chase on November 6, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Winthrop Beans here. I find it laughable and somewhat humorous that a bunch of Democratics are going around saying that there are robots calling people. THis is ridiculous. There are no robots calling people, there are legitimate political operatives calling people and they're doing fine, fine work.

Stop lying! Stop with the distortions. THe American people deserve to hear the truth and the truth is there aren't any robots. At all.

End of discussion>html tag here

Posted by: Winthrop Beans on November 6, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats send cease-and-desist letter

Wusses. How hard is it to prepare a 10 second spot:

"If you've been getting annoying recorded phone calls that don't hang up, that call back, or that occur in the middle of the night, blame the Republican party. Don't be fooled by these deceptive negative phone-calls; vote for the Democratic candidate. When we call, we identify ourselves right away, just as the law requires."

and run it, immediately, often.

Posted by: dr2chase on November 6, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie,

Nothing personal but you're a loathsome piece of shit.

Just saying.

Posted by: obscure on November 6, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, you can smell the fear and desperation coming off Chuckles today.

[inhaling deeply]

Ahhhh!

Posted by: trex on November 6, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK
Wusses. How hard is it to prepare a 10 second spot...and run it, immediately, often.

Probably pretty hard to find available advertising time that reaches many people today and get an ad run often enough to reach many people by tomorrow.

The best hope is to do the kind of things that get "free"/"earned" media by getting news coverage.


Posted by: cmdicely on November 6, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Damn, you can smell the fear and desperation coming off Chuckles today.

[inhaling deeply]

Not without your protection gear! Put this mask on, now!

Posted by: shortstop on November 6, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

REMEMBER THE BLOWJOB!

Posted by: Publican 2106 on November 6, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

How much wood would a wood_____ _____ if a wood_____ could _____ wood?

Got any wood?

Posted by: Chuck on November 6, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

not following laws about who and when telemarketers can call that don't apply to political calls because they aren't telemarketers is probably not so good of an angle to push.

cmdicely, you're a very smart human and I always enjoy your posts. But this seems a bit off to me. When it's an issue that affects you in your home, and it's really frackin' annoying, you're not likely to be so terribly concerned about whether or not it's technically legal or even constitutionally protected. People who have entered their names on do-not-call lists are probably very po'd that they're nonetheless being targeted by political robocalling. Indeed, any candidate who was actually trying to reach out to potential supporters would probably think twice about calling people on do-not-call lists, as it might be self-defeating. Only someone trying to deliberately annoy the other side's supporters would go after them.

I don't think such activity needs to be illegal to rise to the level of newsworthiness. That a national party committee is deliberately bugging the shit out of the other side's supporters under false pretenses, I think, rises easily to the level of newsworthiness. I mean, this is something that's actually irritating you IN YOUR HOME. It's not some irrelevant faraway blah-blah issue, like people being slaughtered in Iraq or whatever.

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 6, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe:

Besides ... one profession that routinely scores lower in public opinion polls than congresscritters is telemarketers :)

But I agree with Chris that the free media of national news stories is the best we can hope for at this point.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 6, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Not without your protection gear! Put this mask on, now!

Then how will I be able to savor that peculiar mix of fear, slight urine odor, ink-and-semen ("oh how I love you Weekly Standard!") and lettuce wrap from P.F. Chang's?

Posted by: trex on November 6, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

But, I don't understand why Republican efforts to steal elections by deliberately deceiving voters doesn't remind you all of Bill Clinton, his penis, and all the funny things he did with his penis.

???

Posted by: Ghost of Charlie on November 6, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Beans:

Winthrop Beans here. I find it laughable and somewhat humorous that a bunch of Democratics are going around saying that there are robots calling people. THis is ridiculous. There are no robots calling people, there are legitimate political operatives calling people and they're doing fine, fine work.

Call me. Call me offline. Stop posting.

Beans, stop posting. Now.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know exactly how much, Chuck, but I'm sure you're getting plenty of wood from Mark Foley and Ted Haggert.

Posted by: Keith on November 6, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a Republican, but I've been so angered by these GOP dirty tricks-- I'm now voting straight-ticket Democrat in Congress this year. I have a Virginia absentee ballot and I'm making sure that Webb and all the other Democrats get my vote.

Not just the Robocalling-- in Virginia, the RNC is now calling Black voters and telling them not to vote in certain precincts, for fear of being fined.

I've worked in 9 different countries-- many of which, like India, once looked upon as a model for democracy-- and now they all regard us as a laughingstock. A guy from Bangalore was joking with me the other day about how the USA has now become the example of "how not to run a democracy." How are we supposed to maintain our self-respect as a nation if we trash our own electoral system likes this?

The GOP has to be forced from power in Congress this year, the only way they'll get the ass-kicking they'll need to reform.

The best revenge against these idiots doing the Robocalling and calling the Black voters, would be for these techniques to backfire on them. I'll do my part to make sure it does.

Posted by: Greg on November 6, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell was this?...

-----

Beans:

Winthrop Beans here. I find it laughable and somewhat humorous that a bunch of Democratics are going around saying that there are robots calling people. THis is ridiculous. There are no robots calling people, there are legitimate political operatives calling people and they're doing fine, fine work.

Call me. Call me offline. Stop posting.

Beans, stop posting. Now.
Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK
---

This is really weird. What does it mean?

Posted by: brooksfoe on November 6, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Robo Calls are only as good as the phone circuits that carry them. Were still trouble shooting a few robo call carrier circuits that appear to be routed to the Bit Bucket. Damn bucket had to be emptied three times today.

As we sayEight hours of lookingEight hours of not finding.

Im sure well have it all sorted out by Wednesday.

Posted by: tech head on November 6, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a Republican, but I've been so angered by these GOP dirty tricks-- I'm now voting straight-ticket Democrat in Congress this year. I have a Virginia absentee ballot and I'm making sure that Webb and all the other Democrats get my vote.

I would certainly encourage you to remember who you are. You're a Republican. Vote Republican or be damned, sir.

Where is the venerable liberal tribal elder named rmck1? Where is he to tell us that John Kerry used robocalls to:

1. Annoy people
2. Tell them the wrong polling information
3. Lie about the record of his opponent

When you libs can admit that your own candidates use robocalling, then perhaps confused Republicans like my friend Greg will remember the place and vote accordingly.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, Chuck, I've never seen anyone who gets off on quoting the good parts of the Starr report the way you do. Sounds like you don't get out much.

I bet Chucky keeps the Starr Report by his bedside, next to his tube of KY and roll of toilet paper, just in case his favorite paid escort doesn't show.

Posted by: Sharoney on November 6, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Remember THEIR place.

I hate it when I make mistakes.

Beans, you need to call me ASAP.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck, Chuck, Chuck

What does this do for our cause? Yes, we can rehash the transgressions of Billy Clinton but here's what you don't understand:

when you talk about their "Big Dog" and his no-no's, you rile them up and they go vote.

We can't have that, now can we? We can't have these liberals all angry and motivated? No, what we need to do is get them to fight amongst each other and give up. We need to get them so lulled into a sense of confusion that all they want to do is ingest drugs, fall asleep and forget to go to the polls tomorrow.

Now, you run along and do the abortion issue or whatever other thing these libs like to see you do, and I'll handle the aspect of this that affects the Republican Party.

Keep up the good work, and try to remember--I will lead the assault on the overall liberal agenda and you can operate on the fringes, making them mad about this or that.

Agreed? Excellent.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 6, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: chfang on November 7, 2006 at 4:41 AM | PERMALINK


chuck: Got any wood?


"Wanna buy some wood?"

- gwb - oct. 2004

Posted by: mr. irony on November 7, 2006 at 6:06 AM | PERMALINK

Finally, Chuck and Norman will be put to shame today. So sweet. We waited 6 years for today and it is finaly here! It feels like Christmas!

Suck it Pugs!!!

Posted by: Michael Buchanan on November 7, 2006 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

Finally, Chuck and Norman will be put to shame today. So sweet. We waited 6 years for today and it is finaly here! It feels like Christmas!

Well, I hate to rain on your parade, but due to an unforseen technical glitch in the Federal Government's election software, the election has been postponed for about a week. You'll have to bear with the poor government, inefficient and all that. No reason to vote today--you have until Wednesday two weeks from now to vote. So, you know. Relax, take the day off. Catch up on your hobbies and whatnot.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 7, 2006 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK
cmdicely, you're a very smart human and I always enjoy your posts. But this seems a bit off to me. When it's an issue that affects you in your home, and it's really frackin' annoying, you're not likely to be so terribly concerned about whether or not it's technically legal or even constitutionally protected.

Right, I agree, I just think that it should be pushed in regard to the annoyance and discourtesy, on the one hand, and the laws that actually apply, on the other, not the laws that don't apply.

More clear?

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I understand you guys were talking about federal law, but a friend mentioned last night that some states have state Do Not Call lists that disallow political messages (as the national Do Not Call list does not). Not sure if this is true, but if so, that may add some broken state laws to the list of federal violations apparently committed here.

Posted by: shortstop on November 7, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody who bothers to listen to the RoboCalls deserves to have his complaints ignored. Call claiming to be from Robert Redford or Bill Clinton (but really just from a machine) are just as false and just as despicable. The only defense is to refuse to answer the phone. Robocalling, after all, is just another form of spam.

Posted by: Mikeyjk on November 7, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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